One of my best friends just raised a series a round of $1mm for his new mobile ad serving start up. During a recent conversation he began to explain how difficult and emotional is was, yet the pressure has really just begun.
Doing a start up is really as emotional or perhaps even more than a romantic relationship. You are always second guessing yourself – Did I choose the right partner/s? Will they flake on me like the hundreds of guys before them have over the years? What if the others in the space catch on to what you are doing and add features that will make your product not as compelling or less competitive? What features should we go to market with? or “Wait, I’m bootstrapping this venture and am on my last $100.00 and don’t have much but a few screenshots, what do I do? How do I get someone to listen?!”
The worst part is being that you spend 1000 hours a month examining the space, you end up finding solutions that are similar to what you are building or have features that you thought were unique to your new product! I’ve come to the conclusion that unless you are in real estate, where if you buy all the land in a region, there is no way someone can compete with you in that area. Yet on the web, there are zero barriers to entry and competition is fierce; it’s freaking global. There are no physical constraints or land to purchase other than domains maybe; but then you just change the URL and/or brand. Although the chances of some kid in Bangkok in his basement competing with a team of professionals in let’s say Silicon Valley, are very slim, it’s still possible.
The web space moves at such a RAPID pace, and you can bet that someone somewhere is building the same or similar idea to yours. All this said, this is what makes the web space so dam exciting and worthy of yielding high returns upon an exit. Its freaking hard!
I have just made the move back to Silicon Valley from NYC. New York City is an amazing place, yet the start up culture is still nowhere near the valley.
So I guess I’ve accepted that this will be an emotional rollercoaster for a very long time – wish me luck.